Healthy Green Bean Casserole – Eat greens, get lean!
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Green bean casserole is the classic thanksgiving dish which served as inspiration for this healthy green bean casserole recipe.
The traditional green bean casserole that you would recognise from thanksgiving dinners was actually invented by Campbell soup in the 1950s!
The company had recently created a Test Kitchen department at their headquarters in New Jersey. This is where Dorcas Reilly, one of the first employees, put together the recipe using Campbell’s mushroom soup.
The Campbells website explains how to make green bean casserole according to the original recipe. It has only 6 ingredients: green beans, cream of mushroom soup, soy sauce, pepper, milk and crispy onions.
What we have rustled up is an everyday healthy green bean casserole-inspired dish that you can serve up regularly – not just for thanksgiving!
We’ve cut the fat, sugar and salt and used only fresh ingredients, as you will see. It’s the best green bean casserole for weight loss!
Healthy green bean casserole: where have you bean all my life?
Full disclosure, our healthy green bean casserole is very different from the classic. We’ve kept the general idea of green beans and a crispy topping but we’ve taken out the mushroom soup and added potatoes and a light sour cream sauce.
Tinned mushroom soup is very high in sodium, as are fatty fried onions. We love ‘em, don’t get me wrong, but if we’re aiming for healthy, they have got to go!
To make our light green bean casserole from scratch, you start by boiling green beans and potatoes.
The sauce you cover them in consists of low fat sour cream, honey and lemon juice – simple but effective. Using low fat sour cream adds to the overall healthiness of the dish, as it cuts out any excess fat.
Instead of shop bought crispy french onions, this recipe shows you how to make a crispy crunchy homemade topping using panko breadcrumbs, almonds and garlic.
The only fat in the topping is olive oil, a healthy unsaturated fat, so you can still have that rich fried flavour!
Our bean and pasta vegetarian casserole is a more traditional casserole dish, which requires less attention – just pop it in the oven and wait.
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Lean, mean, green bean machine!
A quick comparison of the nutritional data of a traditional homemade green bean casserole vs our healthy green bean casserole, shows you exactly why this recipe is great for weight loss (more great casseroles for weight loss here).
A 421 calorie serving of the original recipe would contain 26.7g fat of which 14g would be saturated (the not-so-good kind), along with only 1.78g fibre and 3.56g protein.
Our recipe contains only 16g fat of which only 4g is saturated. That is a ¼ of the saturated fat of the original recipe!
It also contains 11g fibre and 12g protein! Fibre and protein are super important if you are trying to lose weight.
Both protein and fibre help you feel feel full, and stay feeling full for as long as possible!
In practical terms, we can safely say that if you eat 412 calories of the Campbells casserole, you’ll be hungry again far sooner than if you eat 412 calories of our healthy green bean casserole.
If you aren’t satisfied food after eating food, you’re more like to consumes more calories which makes it harder to remain in a calorie deficit and lose weight!
If you want to learn more about how to optimise your diet for healthy weight loss as a vegetarian, check out our vegetarian weight loss meal plan.
Bean me up, scotty!
Green beans are really the star of the show here – so we’ve got to give them some attention.
They are super healthy! They contain virtually no fat or cholesterol but have a good helping of fibre which makes them heart healthy too! They are also naturally low in sodium.
Another great thing about green beans is that they can be a low FODMAP food. Those of you who suffer from digestive issues will know that FODMAPS are certain foods that cause gas, belly pain, diarrhea and constipation in those susceptible indiduals.
Eating low FODMAP foods can relieve digestive pain. So any IBS sufferers out there – green beans are your friend! You just have to be careful of the serving sizes. You need to halve the quantity of green beans if you want to keep in-line with low FODMAP guidelines.
We actually compiled a bunch of low FODMAP veggie recipes a while back- check it out!
We make our green bean casserole with fresh green beans. You can also use tinned or frozen. We recommend fresh or frozen over tinned, because they maintain more of their nutritional value, but tinned will work too!
If you want more green bean goodness, try our super easy vegan green bean salad. Or enjoy the crunchy snap peas in our thai green curry.
We hope you enjoy tucking into our fresh green bean casserole!
Beans and Potatoes
- 16 oz green beans (fresh)
- 14 oz potato
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp almonds (chopped)
- ⅓ cup panko style breadcrumbs
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ⅔ cup low fat Greek Yogurt
Potatoes and Beans
- In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the potatoes until a knife easily cuts through them, about 10-15 minutes.14 oz potato, Salt to taste
- Take the potatoes out and add the green beans and allow them to boil until they have reached a strong green color, are cooked but still have a crunchy texture, about 4 minutes. Reserve until needed.16 oz green beans
- Meanwhile, prepare the crispy topping: in a small non-stick pan add olive oil, nutritional yeast, the thinly sliced garlic cloves and chopped almonds. Fry at medium-low heat until the garlic slices have a light golden brown color.2 tsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 tbsp almonds, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Increase the heat to medium and add the panko and a dash of salt; cook until the panko is golden brown. Reserve until needed.⅓ cup panko style breadcrumbs, Salt to taste
- In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, black pepper, honey, sour cream and water. Reserve until needed.½ tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp black pepper, ⅔ cup low fat Greek Yogurt
- Season green beans and potatoes with salt, a drizzle olive oil and pepper to taste.
- Divide into two plates and top with sour cream sauce and crispy topping.
I opted to roast the beans & potatoes for a little extra color. I altered the yogurt sauce by mixing half yogurt, half tahini, and a little hot water to thin. That crunchy topping really made this feel like an entree instead of just a pile of vegetables. I think it would also be great on a roasted squash/chickpea combo. Thank you!
Very good idea reg. the squash chickpea combo! It’s noted!!
Really happy you liked the recipe, Elizabeth! 🙂